ne middle school summer, at camp, I learned how to do the fishbone braid. I learned it not as this ehow video explains it, but as a four-strand braid. The braid, also called the herringbone, looks cool and, to my middle-school eyes, very sophisticated. However, actually braiding it was quite a feat for me; the four strands were difficult for me to keep track of. I would miss an entwining or pass a strand under instead of over and end up with a mess. Usually, I was able to get into the rhythm of it and only a small section would end up mis-braided. I could get the job done, but I was not the go-to braider for the other girls at camp.
I’m feeling a little like this now with Julia. I know that I want X to happen in a little bit, but I’ve lost the strand of clues along the way. I need to go back and stick the clues in so that X doesn’t come out of left field, but I hope the braid of the story looks natural when I do. Nothing worse that having clues that are supposed to be subtle end up being painfully obvious because they are so awkwardly laid out. I suppose that smoothing over is for revision 100, right?
I’m still in the middle of writing Julia, so I feel pulled – do I allow that glaring omission to stand and charge ahead, or do I go back and fix it now? Either way, there is a risk. Option one: ignore. Risk: that annoying voice in the back of my mind that will tug and yell and shout that “SOMETHING isn’t right!” until I go back and fix it. Option two: fix now. Risk: getting sucked into polish mode so deeply that moving forward never happens.
Every other day, I flip-flop on which option I think is best. While I may not be tender headed, all this yanking back and forth has immobilized me.